“Our goal is to always win, that hasn’t changed. The next three races, yeah, it’d be pretty special to get another win. Over the past six years, the folks at RPM have become friends and more like family to Janice and I. The best way to celebrate as a group is in Victory Lane.
It was another wild 500 laps at the Martinsville (Va.) Speedway during Sunday’s First Data 500. What looked to be a first-time winning moment for Chase Elliott ended with wrecked cars, hurt feelings and the No. 43 Smithfield Fusion driving through it all for an 18th-place finish.
Petty race teams have been competing at the .526-mile Martinsville (Va.) Speedway since 1949, when Lee Petty finished second when track was a dirt oval. As the years went by, Lee, Richard Petty, Jimmy Hensley and John Andretti all collected wins at the historical track under the Petty name. A total of 20 grandfather clocks have been gathered along the way.
“Well, we definitely did better than our last visit to Kansas,” said Almirola. “We started the race just a little off. Drew (Blickensderfer) and the guys did a great job working on the car. We were really fast on the short runs but fell off as the run went on. We got caught up in the big wreck, but thankfully, didn’t have too much damage. The guys were able to fix it and keep us on the Lead Lap.
The No. 43 Smithfield Ford team solidified a great superspeedway track record for the 2017 season. After fourth-place finishes at Daytona and Talladega for Aric Almirola and a 15th for Bubba Wallace filing in for Almirola at Daytona, the team set their sights on a good finish at the final superspeedway race of the season.